I would like to begin this post by raining curses down upon the head of my dear friend Lisa who innocently said last Saturday night, "My new guilty pleasure on TV is Tool Academy. You should check it out!" And I did. And it was awful, in that way that I simply cannot turn away from.
The thing that bothered me the most about the first episode of Tool Academy was the same thing that bothers me when I check out most tabloids at the supermarket: not only do I have no idea who these people are, I can't tell most of them apart.
At that now classic moment when the true nature of Tool Academy is revealed (a.k.a. "So there's no International Party King?"), I don't see 12 individual tools. All I see is a contiguous mass of stupid headwear, visible boxer waistbands and bad-decision tattoos.
I mean, I know there's a great big one, and there's one with braids, and there's one with the bright, blinky eyes of a nocturnal creature caught in the sun (or a tweaker... I'm just saying). But the rest of them are just one big blob of squinty, bandanna-wearing self-indulgence.
Seriously, could you tell them apart? (And when did sleeves become optional on blazers? And who gave these lunkheads a Bedazzler? And how did they know how to use it??)
At least their girlfriends are more individually discernible, although they can mostly be told apart by their bad choices in grooming (as opposed to their bad choices in dudes). There's one with two-tone bi-level hair, one with a mullet, one with piercings along her eyebrow that form the shape of Ursa Minor and one with glasses. I actually like the one with glasses, and I like the no-nonsense blonde who I think might be with Gigantor tool.
Also, in a rare switch for VH1 programming, the women on this show are supportive of one another; I saw a lot of hand-holding and arms on shoulders as they watched their tools act the fool and reacted to the breaches of fidelity and good taste that were on display.
Already, Tool Academy is casting for the "Class of 2010," and if what I see on MySpace is any indication, there will be no trouble recruiting for years to come. What I'd truly like to see, though, is one of those VH1 mashup shows where they introduce "stars" of other shows into an existing format.
Oh, yeah. I see a future Tool Academy valedictorian.